Equipped with great modern facilities and a better system of connectivity and accountability Smart Cities are the future of cities. Becoming a Smart City depends on a number of factors, ranging from the financial condition of the city to the managerial capacity of its people. There are, however, certain basic traits that are necessary to make any city a Smart City. It is not merely limited to the material enhancement and growth of the city and its surroundings but the growth of human satisfaction and happiness. The increased emphasis on the citizen participation in a number of definitions of Smart Cities suggest that the scope of growth and development in a Smart City is not merely limited to the material conditions and growth but that it encompasses the improvement in an overall standard of living of its people. With the efficient use of technology in these cities the world will become a smaller and connected and a well acquainted place, which would eventually lead to new scope of livelihood and an increased connectivity between masses.
Some of the Features that define a Smart City are:
- Use Information Technologies:
Smart City is a region that makes extensive use of Information technologies which are also called as Information and communications technology (ICT). These technologies make efficient use of physical infrastructure. The connectivity between the people and the administration of the city becomes much more efficient. The data analysis leads to a healthy economic, social, cultural development of the city and its inhabitants. ICT suggests the use of integrated technology platforms, easily accessible across various devices. This easy access to information provides the key to transparent and accountable governance, speed and participation of citizens in matters of their concern and proper access to public services.
- Safety and Security:
Intensive surveillance of public areas and twenty-four seven connectivity will lead to a greater sense of security amongst the people of such Smart Cities. With growing concern over women and children security, the efficient use of cameras in Smart Cities will leave end the scope of crimes against the innocent. The greater accountability of the governing bodies would also be an incentive to control and check the unlawful practices.
- Citizen Participation:
Another revolutionary feature of Smart Cities would be the increased Citizen Participation in the functioning of the government of that area. In a country where transparency in government activities is a distant dream and where corruption erodes the efficiency of the administration, this aspect of Smart Cities would open paths towards the better India where government could be held responsible for the actions that it takes.
- Financial sustainability:
The financial independence would be an important pillar for survival of Smart Cities. And to meet that end all the available resources of revenue would have to be tapped and put to use. And with extensive database of information about the citizens and inhabitants of the City this financial sustainability would not be hard to achieve and would come as a breath of fresh air for the governing and the governed.
- Smart Solutions:
All the basic human problems would find a smart solution in these Smart Cities, whether it be the waste management issue or the concern over the transportation facilities, Smart Cities would provide a solution to all these problems in the most efficient way possible.
- Simple Living:
With the improved standard of living, these Cities would home the culture of Simple Living. With every information available at the touch of a button and the accessibility of that information from a variety of devices would end the trouble of living with burdens and the citizens of Smart Cities would be able to lead a simple and fulfilling life. The awareness and information about the use of resources and their protection would enhance the levels of sensitivity amongst the people and will make them more concerned about the future generation and internal satisfaction than the material gains.
Ideally, Smart Cities would aim at developing a place where people can walk to their workplaces and if that won’t be possible then the use of public transport would be promoted which would in turn increase the efficiency of the citizens by reducing the time lost in transportation. Use of electric cars, and bicycle paths would also be a key feature of the Smart Cities.
- 8. Green City:
With prime concern being given to the sustainable use of resources the Smart City would help reduce the carbon footprint of the human race. The incorporation of Parks and Green areas would be a blessing for the inhabitants of the city who would be the recipient of the fresh air and clean environment which has already become a rare luxury and the conditions of metropolitans are bound to decay in times to come. Owning a Flat in Smart City would be a means to healthy survival.
- Intelligent environments (IE):
The defining feature of a Smart City is no doubt the intelligent environment, which creates interactive spaces and enhances inhabitants’ experiences.
The connectivity, the transparency and the sense of security are all key features of a Smart City that make it the Future of Cities.